(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Pikes Peak United Way will partner with Harrison School District 2 for the second annual Adopt-A-Family holiday gift drive to provide gifts for families in need.

Families from 19 local schools were identified by teachers and counselors as recipients for this year’s gift drive. Many families list basic items, such as a travel coffee mug, or necessities, like a pair of shoes. Each family’s wish list can be found on the event site: Adopt-A-Family: Harrison School District 2 – Pikes Peak United Way. 

“You don’t realize how little a family can get by on until you see their holiday wish list,” said Elizabeth Quevedo, Director of Community Impact at Pikes Peak United Way. “Adopt-A-Family provides for basic needs, but also goes a little farther to provide holiday cheer by filling some of those ‘wants’ as well.” 

This year, the most-requested item was shoes, with 399 pairs of shoes being included on wish lists. Parents also asked for coats for their children, with 198 coats being requested.

Of the families on the list, 19 families are new to Colorado, 16 have faced recent tragedy, including the death of a family member, 13 are struggling with transportation issues (no car or broken vehicle), and 10 are experiencing job loss or employment hardships. Many of the families on the list reported having issues with housing stability. Also, several families referenced a parental disability or a child with a disability.

Last year, Pikes Peak United Way saw over $207,000 in gifts donated to 237 adopted families. This year, they have planned to accommodate 250 local families.

Donors can drop off their gifts at the Pikes Peak United Way Family Success Center – 1520 Verde Drive – on Wednesday, December 7 or Thursday, December 8, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Families will pick up their wrapped gifts on December 12, 2022, and December 13, 2022, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.